Keyword research is an important strategy utilised by affiliate marketers, SEO agencies and freelance consultants to unearth golden keyword phrases.
They’re eager to discover the exact words and topically related phrases that people type into Google and to a lesser extent Bing or Yahoo when undertaking an online search.
If your site is aiming at mistargeted or low traffic keywords, the right buying customers are unlikely to find your product or service.
There are thousands of new keywords being typed in each day that don’t currently show up in the results of any keyword tools as they’re so fresh.
These relate to emerging products, news events etc
We won’t be discussing topical research or the strategy of tapping into trending phrases in this blog post, but perhaps will at a later date.
Sorting Keyword Nuggets By Difficulty and Search Volume
Finding low hanging keyword fruit is a crucial, yet attainable goal with the right tool.
You want a solution to deliver accurate data, revealing how many searches per month, keyphrase difficulty, and ascertain the strength of the competition.
There are a number of established tools out there such as Long Tail Pro and SEMrush, the latter has been consistently recognized as the best keyword research tool by digital marketing consultants and experts for years.
The former has massive popularity among Amazon Affiliate Associates and was developed by Spencer Haws director of Niche Pursuits.
Both have multitudes of happy subscribers.
I’ve used SEMRush myself and found it very useful, however there are so many bells and whistles that I wasn’t utilising it’s full potential.
For the low volume of use, I couldn’t justify the monthly fee.
As a freelancer working on a few affiliate, or small business client sites I was on the lookout for a lighter, leaner tool.
My Search for a Suitable Streamlined Tool
At the time of writing the free Google Keyword planner, for the most part is no longer displaying the exact search volume for searches, that is unless you have an active Adwords account.
This may change in the future, and I believe there are workarounds, however meanwhile those previously reliant on Keyword Planner need to find a current solution delivering accurate data.
Uber Suggest is a new tool on the block, it generates plenty of long tail results, but alas no search volume.
My search for a leaner research tool led me to the excellent Best Tools For Keyword Research post by Robbie Richards
On this list I discovered a tool I hadn’t heard of before called KWFinder from Mangools.
They offer a free trial of five searches per 24 hours.
After sampling the trial for a day I was so impressed by the effectiveness and simplicity of KW Finder that I immediately signed up for a monthly BASIC package.
With a coupon the price was very reasonable.
For that I get 100 keyword searches and 100 Serp evaluations a day.
This is more than enough searches for me, however an agency might be better off with the PREMIUM plan, or switching to a big hitting solution like SEMRush.
Testing KW Finder for Amazon Affiliate Ideas
On Twitter I recently discovered a free Niche idea generator called “Niche Wolf”. It is worth checking out if you’re looking for an easy way to randomly generate new ideas for an affiliate site without a seed keyword.
Their free option limits you to 25 ideas per day.
It suggested a phrase in the DIY and tools niche that I thought looked promising.
However currently it only pulls US search data, so curious as to the UK search volume of this keyword discovered by “Niche Wolf” I typed the word into KWFinder
When looking for affiliate site ideas, I often prefer to only reveal phrases with the word “BEST” in them as this produces phrases with buying intent.
Soon my eyes were feasting on a number of promising opportunities, one of which had 1600 UK monthly searches and a difficulty rating of 22, for which they assigned a rating of EASY.
The keyword it revealed would potentially make a great project for an Amazon Associates authority site reviewing the best equipment in this niche.
KW Finder’s SEO Difficulty Rating Explained
The tool assigns their own SEO competition rating for a particular keyword.
This has 8 difficulty ratings, ranging from 0-100
The easiest is “GO FOR IT” (0-09) the next SUPER EASY (10-19), then EASY (20-29), all the way up to DON’T DO IT which has a difficulty rating of 90-100 and is reserved for niches seemingly impossible to enter.
You push the DIFF button in your KWFinder control panel and a score of 1-100 is calculated in seconds.
You can also use filters to narrow your search to hone in on those profitable phrases.
A fantastic simple solution for freelance seo consultants and affiliate marketers, however for agencies a more powerful tool like SEMrush is probably more suitable.
Read a related post – The Link Building Landscape From A Freelance Perspective
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